Simple Cucumber Salad

simple marinated cucumber salad
An easy sliced cucumber salad in a bowl. Diana Rattray
    18 mins
Ratings (15)

This easy cucumber salad recipe makes a nice accompaniment to any meal. Slice the cucumber in fancy ribbons or cut into chunks or sticks. 

The recipe calls for dried herbs, but fresh herbs are excellent if you have them. See the reader comments and tips and variations for some substitution and other ingredient ideas.

This cucumber salad goes well with pork or ham, and it makes an easy side dish for a cookout or barbecue. 

What You'll Need

  • 3 large cucumbers, peeled or not
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • dash ground cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried leaf basil
  • fresh parsley, basil, or dill weed, optional

How to Make It

  1. Slice the cucumbers thinly or cut the cucumber into half-inch dice or sticks. Or cut the cucumbers in half, core them with an apple corer, and use a y-peeler to make "ribbons." See this video from Art of Doing Stuff.
  2. Put the prepared cucumbers in a serving bowl and set aside.
  3. In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, cayenne pepper, parsley, ground black pepper, and basil. Place the saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  1. Pour warm mixture over cucumbers. Cover the dish and chill thoroughly.
  2. Drain the cucumbers before serving or serve with a slotted spoon. Sprinkle with fresh chopped parsley, basil, or dill, if desired
  3. Store the salad covered in the refrigerator.

Serves 6 to 8

Tips and Variations

  • For a fresher salad, use fresh herbs. Replace the parsley flakes with about 1 teaspoon of fresh parsley and replace the dried leaf basil with 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh basil.
  • Replace the basil with dill or oregano (1/4 teaspoon dried or 1 teaspoon fresh). 
  • Cucumber Tomato Salad: Dice 1 or 2 medium tomatoes and toss with the cucumbers. If desired, top with 1/4 to 1/2 cup of crumbled feta cheese.
  • Add thinly sliced purple onion to the salad.
  • After draining the salad, stir in 1/2 to 1 cup of sour cream or Green yogurt.

Reader Comments

  • "I tried this recipe and was very pleased with it. The flavor was sweet and delicious with a refreshing taste. I used 4 English cucumbers with 2 fresh basil leaves out of my herb garden. I will be making this recipe many times in the future." — P.Y.​
  • "By far the best cucumber salad I have ever made. This is always a big hit with my family and I am about to serve it to 24 Thanksgiving guests.." — J.Kessy
  • "Very tasty, easy to make. ...results are much better if you let it sit for 24 hours in the refrigerator. A very popular dish every time I make it." — H.T.

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